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Exploring "field readiness" of items

Our MakerNet journey these past several weeks has focused on key areas for Field Ready and the consortium as well as for others attempting to supplement the aid supply chain with appropriate, affordable, accessible and available supplies that are locally made. We shared an overview on the design sharing and aid sourcing focus points. We shared a mapping survey that begins to bring transparency to local manufacturing capacities in previously non-digitally connected geographies. We revealed humanitarian items for testing by the greater community – a no-nonsense way to further develop humanitarian items for reliable use globally. And most recently, we shared our thoughts and questions on local procurement by aid agencies and on soon-to-be-had interviews with stakeholders on systems to better support local procurement.

This week, we introduce a conversation centered on what criteria do we need to ensure open designs are globally reproducible. How do we (all stakeholders of the items) determine when an item is ready for field use? In Field Ready’s case, they have guiding principles on exactly this. In your organization or company, do you have guiding principles and what do they reflect?

Also, we invite you to a conversation on what criteria is made available for open design procurement, production and utilization. We show you a list of criteria and its respective priority rating (dependent on risk level) and ask you for feedback (see the "ask you" link for this information). Your comments will be insightful to Field Ready and other humanitarian-focused organizations seeking to avail their in-field-designed items for use by others around the world. Especially as we continue to explore digital platform options to help make quality items accessible – according to what is needed, when its needed and where its needed.

Why is all this important? You know the numbers: 60-80% of the aid budget is spent on logistics alone, yet people still wait weeks to many months to receive what they need. Yet, who are these people that need help? They are you, me, our neighbor depending on where we live. People with agency. Dignity. Skills. Resources. Now way-laid by disaster. Still capable. Desiring to get on with our lives. See our families grow. By navigating this MakerNet journey, we have the opportunity to come together, roll up our sleeves and enable effective stopgaps with locally made supplies when disaster strikes.

Thank you again for walking this journey with us! Please feel free to send questions to

*Special thank to Mark Mellors, Abi Bush, Laura James and Eric James (not related) for the development of the Field Readiness Guiding Principles and the interactive criteria list.

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